san juan water district ~ Board of Directors
Endorsed by the
National Women's Political Caucus, Sacramento
Fiscal Planning & Best Business Practices
As a trusted and well-respected leader in the water industry,
understands the complexity of regional water management.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you by ensuring our community has a safe, affordable and reliable drinking water supply.
- By leading the charge on pension reform and promoting smart financial decisions, I helped our district earn a AA+ financial bond rating while reducing your costs.
- I have contributed to initiatives that reduced our rates including paying down unfunded liability, refinancing debt, renegotiating water supply contracts and building a solar power project. Under my direction, San Juan is one of the most efficiently run water districts in California.
- I have worked to make our water rates among the lowest in California and I will fight to keep them that way. (See rate comparisons.)
- I will work to ensure a reliable and affordable water supply for you that is unaffected by Covid-19, and to assist customers in avoiding water service shutoffs.
- I will work diligently to secure state and federal funding for infrastructure improvements and to protect our water rights. With 15 years of experience and proven leadership, I was elected as Vice President of the Association of California Water Agencies, representing the interests of over 450 California water agencies. I have been part of this community for many years, working tirelessly to make it a better place. I respectfully ask for your vote to continue to improve San Juan Water District by listening to you, our customers.
As your candidate, Pam Tobin knows the value of being connected. That's why she's running for this position. Help her - help you.
Pam Tobin has served on the Sacramento area’s San Juan Water District Board of Directors and on the Regional Water Authority/Sacramento Groundwater Authority Board of Directors since 2004. She has been active in the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) as a Board Member and Region 4 Chair, belonging to the Federal Affairs and Local Government committees, as well as on the ACWA-Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors and Liability Committee. Pam works as a Realtor and property developer with more than 30 years of experience as a business owner.
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"I could not be more proud to work with Pam on water issues. She truly sees the big picture, has retail and wholesale ratepayers in mind, and is always looking to the future to ensure the agency is solid and its customers well served."
--Robert Dugan, Chair of the Board of Directors, Placer County Water Agency
California hosts a substantial, complicated water rights system that allocates water across the state. In addition to a dual system — riparian and appropriate rights — today state courts are recognizing expanded public trust values in determining how the state’s water resources should be best used.
Water rights are governed mostly by state law. Water quality issues, which may affect allocation, are regulated separately by both federal and state laws. Water rights can be quite contentious.
California has more than 1,400 named dams and 1,300 reservoirs that help with flood management, water storage and water transport. Hydro-power from dams also provides a relatively pollution-free source of electricity. Dams are owned, maintained and operated by federal, state and local agencies. Are your customers raving about you on social media? Share their great stories to help turn potential customers into loyal ones.
The State Water Project’s most visible facility is the 444-mile-long California Aqueduct. The aqueduct, which parallels Interstate 5 through the San Joaquin Valley, transports water from Oroville Dam to Lake Perris in Southern California.
Central Valley Project
Constructed long ago by federal effort to help create farmland, the Central Valley Project is one of the biggest water and transport systems in the entire world.
In years of normal precipitation, it stores and distributes about 20 percent of the state’s developed water through its massive system of reservoirs and canals.Water is transported 450 miles from Lake Shasta in Northern California to Bakersfield in the southern San Joaquin Valley.
Along the way, the CVP encompasses 18 dams and reservoirs with a combined storage capacity of 11 million acre-feet, 11 power plants and three fish hatcheries. As part of this, the Delta Mendota Canal and Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River deliver water to farms in the Central Valley.
Folsom Dam, located on the American River above the city of Sacramento, is part of the Central Valley Project. It includes water storage (Folsom Lake), power generation and conveyance facilities.
State Water Project
The State Water Project (SWP) is responsible for bringing drinking water to 25 million people and provides irrigation for 750,000 acres of farmland. Without it California would never have become the economic powerhouse it is today.
The nation’s largest state-built water and power development and conveyance system, the SWP diverts water from the Feather River to the Central Valley, South Bay Area and Southern California. Its key feature is the 444-mile long California Aqueduct that can be viewed from Interstate 5.
The SWP has required the construction of 21 dams and more than 700 miles canals, pipelines and tunnels. To reach Southern California, the water must be pumped 2,000 feet over the Tehachapi Mountains; it’s the highest water lift in the world.
Today, about 30 percent of SWP water is used for irrigation, mostly in the San Joaquin Valley, and about 70 percent is used for residential, municipal and industrial use, mainly in Southern California but also in the Bay Area. The SWP was built and is operated by the California Department of Water Resources.
To watch a slideshow about the SWP, click here.
WESTERN WATER Q&A: WADE CROWFOOT ADDRESSES DELTA TUNNEL SHIFT, SALTON SEA PLAN AND MANAGING WATER AMID A LEGACY OF CONFLICT
One of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first actions after taking office was to appoint Wade Crowfoot as Natural Resources Agency secretary. Then, within weeks, the governor laid out an ambitious water agenda that Crowfoot, 45, is now charged with executing.
That agenda includes the governor’s desire for a “fresh approach” on water, scaling back the conveyance plan in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and calling for more water recycling, expanded floodplains in the Central Valley and more groundwater recharge.
Crowfoot and Newsom have worked together in the past, when Newsom was San Francisco’s mayor and Crowfoot served as his senior environmental adviser.
As Natural Resources secretary, Crowfoot oversees a sprawling agency of 19,000 employees engaged in the stewardship of the state’s forests and natural lands, rivers and waterways, coast and ocean, fish and wildlife and energy development. As a cabinet member, he advises the governor on natural resources and environmental issues.
Part of Newsom’s agenda is ratcheting down the twin tunnels approach to Delta water conveyance to a single-tunnel plan. Crowfoot said the idea is to build on the existing analysis to assess and design a smaller project that meets safety and reliability goals with less impact.
Meanwhile, the federal government has proposed to raise Shasta Dam by adding 18 feet of steel and cement to the rim of the dam, increasing Lake Shasta’s storage by 634,000 acre-feet. Former Resources Secretary John Laird in 2018 asked Congress to not pursue the project because raising the dam would violate the protection for the McCloud River provided under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
Crowfoot acknowledged the legacy of conflict surrounding California water, most recently evidenced by the State Water Resources Control Board’s controversial flows plan for the San Joaquin River, and the likelihood that those conflicts will continue. Still, Crowfoot said, some answers can be found for solutions that align around “win-win approaches that benefit both people and nature.”
In a recent interview with Western Water, Crowfoot discussed aspects of what he expects to tackle during the next four years, including finding ways to make California more resilient to the extreme swings in drought and flood that are expected to come.
Wade Crowfoot spent five years working in the Brown Administration. His purview was broad and initially not related to water. When the drought came around, he ended up leading the governor’s efforts to coordinate state agencies’ response … and that fascinated him. He was much more interested and how natural resources are managed in the state.
He had the chance to work with John Laird when he was [Natural Resources] secretary and saw what he was able to do.
Wade Crowfoot's No. 1 priority was to implement the governor’s vision on water that he articulated in the State of the State and so that involves developing a portfolio of actions including modernized conveyance through the Delta, collaborative approaches like these voluntary agreements on the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers that are going to position the state to be more resilient in an uncertain water future.
No. 2 is to use the agency’s resources — funding, talent, personnel and policy — to build resilience to drought and flooding. This challenge of resilience to climate change impacts is a cardinal priority for the state.
The third is break down the binary that has divided California water — this false choice between farmers and environmentalists, or north and south, or urban and rural. To really advance a broad strategy that recognizes that we have to meet all of these water needs into the next century and that we are only going to do that by working together across the state and across the different user groups.
“Effective water management in California is a grand exercise in partnership. Eighty-five percent of water spending gets spent locally and as a state we need to work closely in an aligned manner with local water agencies.”
The administration is really focused on how to implement the governor’s vision of a different project — a smaller capacity, single-tunnel project. The governor’s been clear that we need modernized conveyance to protect the water supply against the risk of a catastrophic earthquake, sea level rise and saltwater intrusion into the inner Delta and so from our perspective, the status quo is not an option in the Delta.
We are focused on designing and building a project that will protect the water supply and reliability, but in a way with limited impacts on Delta communities and fish. We think a smaller project is affordable and therefore more feasible.
We need to do more. We need to build on legacy infrastructure that is already in the ground; take a system that’s historically been centralized, fairly rigid and static … [and] make that infrastructure decentralized, flexible and nimble to capture what we know is a less predictable hydrology. Our dry periods will be drier, our wet periods will be wetter. We need infrastructure that can adapt season over season, and we need our management structure to allow for that adaption, so more flexibility in sharing and trading water, better use of real-time data to manage water for communities and habitat.
The Salton Sea in Southeastern California is the state's largest lake and a key stop on the Pacific Flyway. Water diversions have resulted in shrinking the lake, causing public health and ecological concerns. Mr. Crowfoot said, "We need to intensify our efforts at the Salton Sea. Mr. Crowfoot said, "I think my leadership [as secretary] is important to actually get some projects moving. We have projects planned and even permitted that will mitigate dust and provide habitat and we have to get those projects moving. There is mistrust and skepticism in that region about whether the state is truly committed to stabilizing the sea. Our agency is charged with implementing a 10-year management plan and so we have to deliver on these projects. We have to build momentum."
Effective water management in California is a grand exercise in partnership. Eighty-five percent of water spending gets spent locally and as a state we need to work closely in an aligned manner with local water agencies. One of the most important things we can do is support their leadership in building resilience across different regions of California.
“We need to intensify our efforts at the Salton Sea. I think my leadership [as secretary] is important to actually get some projects moving. Coordination and cooperation between the federal agencies and the state agencies is essential. We are working with our federal counterparts on a weekly basis in a really constructive way. I’ve had the benefit of coordinating with the Reclamation commissioner [Brenda Burman] multiple times on shared efforts already. That being said, there are different approaches being taken on critical issues and we are navigating our way through them. We want to work with the federal government where it makes sense and where we can, and we will defend the state’s interest where we have to."
"The state’s concerns center on the project’s adverse impacts on the McCloud River, which is specifically protected under state law. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the State Water Resources Control Board restated these concerns in recent comment letters regarding the proposed raise. We hope the Bureau of Reclamation will closely consider our state agencies’ concerns in the coming months."
"State leaders, starting with the governor, have made it very clear that ignoring the problem is no longer an option. The fact that upward of 1 million people live in Third World conditions is just not something that we can or should tolerate. There is a strong focus from the governor and legislative leaders in solving this problem and the cost of solving it is not overwhelming. The challenge is finding ongoing funding for operations and maintenance. The governor has a proposal out there and we are all ears to other alternatives.
"We can build collaboration and relationships around shared priorities through multiple-benefit approaches. For example, floodplain expansion can protect public safety, provide environmental habitat and enable groundwater recharge. It’s a great example of a priority we need to elevate, given its multiple benefits and ability to bring disparate groups and water users together. Another example is maximizing groundwater recharge, which is critical for minimizing impacts of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act implementation and is important for reducing pressure on surface waterways. Another example is urban storm-water capture. All of these are areas where there are actually not strong conflicts about making progress."
~Wade Crowfoot, California Natural Resources Secretary
Reach Gary Pitzer: email@example.com